Thursday, November 30, 2006

I reccomend "my bad month" to all of my friends....

"I Reccomend 'my bad month' to all of my friends.."

is what some rejected comment stated, and his friends apparently had websites dealing with loans, bedroom supplies, drugs, and more loans.

as for me, Im starting to recover......

Thursday, November 23, 2006

My bad month

Two weeks ago, a member of our tiny UU Congregation died, and his wife
asked me to do the funeral and eulogy - with my wife, Sharon,'s help I
did so
We discovered that Sharon's father was in the hospital in Thailand,
prognosis unknown (he is still in the hospital, prognosis better)
A friend emailed me telling me that he was dying and asking me to take
over one of his projects.

last week, my car was damaged in the undercarriage to the tune of
$2000 - the adjuster still hasnt been to see it - I live in an area
with no mass transit, so ive been getting a ride to work, eating
lunch in the office, and walking home at night.

Wednesday my mother didnt answer her phone, so we went down and
discovered she had had a massive stroke - prognosis still not good.

Today - I recieved an email that my friend had died earlier today of
a heart attack

I am sending this out, not because Im looking for sympathy; Indeed as
I read this I'm thinking of a a sermon by Rev Tutlle of Minneapolis
in the 1890s, where he quoted a sick man who said "I cant complain -
of my 53 years, I had 50 of excellent health".
Instead I am just thinking out loud about the fraility of life and the
importance of compassion and love. Of focusing on what is important
and not on what is not. Of not complaing when we could be celebrating

(and of course on living wills, and wondering who should get my
collection of Universalist and UU books!)

best wishes to all
Steven R

Friday, November 17, 2006

D. B. Clayton top of the pops!

ok, go to this website

and go down to biography - and what do you see?

wow! how's that!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Florence SC Us, Us, and UUs

Sometimes it's interesting to look at a particular location and see how so-called liberal religion takes hold (or doesn't) in a location.

Florence SC was a railroad town, founded as a station on the Manchester - Wilmington Railroad in the 1850s and named after the Railroad president's daughter. During the war, there was a prisoner of war camp there, and then after the war, a National cemetery for the soldiers who died there, and then other veterans (I note at least one chalice on the grave in the old cemetery). Henry Timrod (who probably didn't inspire Bob Dylan after all) taught school nearby.
Into the early 20th Century, Florence became a hub of transportation, partially due to it's being midway between New York City and Miami. First railroad (and before sleeper cars, they stopped at the hotels in Florence) and then highways, and now interstates.

While it is probable that D. B. Clayton did some preaching in Florence, (particuarly when he lived 30 miles away in Cash's Depot); I have yet no evidence of that.

Thanks to recent detective work by Carol Simmons, we do know that the treasurer of the North Carolina Universalist Convention, Inc. in the mid 1930s lived in Florence SC.

In 1961 and 1962, there was a short lived Unitarian Fellowship of Florence; with members in Marion and Florence. The timing is the same when the AUA was making a big effort to start Fellowships and Churches throughout the south - with surrport of money and leadership. Some of the Churches made it (in SC, like Clemson and Columbia), many did not - having got trapped in the tension of race and outsiders and politics ).

In the mid 1980s, another fellowship was started in the Florence area. I think it ran until about 1988. From what I recall it was under the leadership of a College Professor at Coker College in Hartsville, SC.

In 2001, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Florence was founded by a couple who after a couple of years, moved to Fayetteville - and started a UU church there.
After almost 6 years, the UUCF is still alive, if small.

The mid 1930s UCoNCi treasurer and the 1961/2 congregation are pieces of the Florence puzzle that I found out within the past week! Not much significance in the big picture, but an interesting light in the little picture!

(and yes i will cross post this on the UUCF blog too, what ya expect?)

Friday, November 10, 2006

- In Memoriam

It says right there in my blog profile, that I am not a minister.
But I do give sermons and UU lectures - and this weekend, I take the sad step of officating at a funeral....
I've been asked by the family and how could I refuse. I've also been asked to say something about the kind of man he was, and how could I refuse.... but it's breaking my heart and making me cry. How do real ministers do this on a regular basis?

I know what the family wants and I and my wife will try to help them as best we can.
We looked at songs, we looked at readings, we got quiche and cookies.

... but this is my blog and I can do what I want here - this isnt the history of Universalism in the South, but today this is now one man joining history, one man who's love of life and optimism kept us going, one tiny congregation getting even smaller...and since this is my blog, I can write words to comfort me - and I will.

"Love Never Ends" there is no need for me to type in all of this beatiful words attributed to Paul, because that's what it comes down to - Love Never Ends. Love is all conquering, and there is no foe it will not subdue. Love never lets go.
When we face the overwhelming pain of grief and sorrow, we need to remember that Love Never Ends. amen